My knowledge on fighting games (WIP)

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My knowledge on fighting games (WIP)

Post by Dragon5 on 20th September 2014, 10:14 pm

Per the MAN's request, I decided to type up all my fighting knowledge even though I am by NO means a professional. Anyone in tournament play can explain this better than I could, but at least I know the basics.

Combos
Originally a bug in Street Fighter II, it was kept as an extra feature for other players to find out because of its difficulty in performing. Now they are the most important aspect in fighting games. They also help define how the game is paced. Both Melty Blood and Street Fighter IV are fast-paced, but they execute their combos EXTREMELY different with their mechanics. Don't expect to do combos in Street Fighter the same way you do in Melty Blood. Street Fighter requires precision while Melty Blood needs you to be quick although more flexible; both have a learning curve on how to deal the most damage. Hero Fighter has combo options as well thanks to the ability to hit opponents at almost any time. The game's simplicity does affect how extreme combos can be.

Damage Scaling
To prevent combos from dealing excessive amounts of damage, games try to "scale" the damage done in excessive combos to prevent them from doing too much. Proper scaling depends on how your game will be played. Will it have a variety of combo options leading to long damages, or will it be simple with a good amount of combo options but a more limited moveset? It needs to work with the pacing of the game you intend to give it. 60-hit combos or 16-hit combos? Make sure it is worth adding the extra hits, but don't go too far on either end. Marvel vs Capcom 3 is known for combos that involve an insane number of hits, but most of them take up to 50-75% or even 100% depending on the character it is done to. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has combos that deal 60-80% even though they are about 15-20 hits at most. Keep in mind that MvC3 health has 6-digit figures while Tekken Tag 2 only has about 160-200 health (depends on how many players are fighting). These high-damaging combos do involve a lot of risk, but practice normally alleviates that. It is okay if you do not like combos that deal so much damage. Some games like Melty Blood and BlazBlue (HIGH-technical fighter) have combos that scale somewhat sharp after a fair amount of hits compared to the other mainstream fighters. Street Fighter II does not use damage scaling because of how limited the combos are, especially before Turbo.

Juggles
This is part of combos, and generally integral to extending combos. Some games may have certain moves have juggle properties while other games allow the character to be hit with whatever whenever as long as it connects. Some games use some sort of physics adjustment to prevent players from infinitely keeping them airborne such as in games like Tekken, SFxT, MK9, and Injustice. The older Mortal Kombat games have a different juggle system that breaks combos after so many hits. Most fighters rely on damage scaling to ensure combos do not become too damaging otherwise.

Matchups
Perfect balance in a diverse game is never easy to obtain for one simple reason: some characters will have an advantage over another. You can tweak a character to fight better against that person, but you need to consider how he will fare against the rest of the cast; he could become overpowered! Let's analyze a match between a perfectly balanced (what-if) Julian and Henry. Julian's projectiles become useless against Henry thanks to Dragon Palm and Critical Shot. Henry also has better mobility to keep his distance. Julian has to work hard to patiently drain Henry's MP before going on the offensive, otherwise the match is easy for Henry. Julian can take on Davis just fine in about an even match, and Davis has enough mobility and priority to stand a much better chance against Henry. This is known as counterpicking, but it isn't utilized that often simply because it would result in chaotic tournaments.

Punish
This is more a technique common in fighting games rather than an aspect. To punish an opponent, you need to hit your opponent after they do a move. Imagine Ryu's Shoryuken missing you (whiff) and you see him falling down. He is vulnerable during that moment. Hitting him before he falls is called punishment. Usually with punishments you get to have a free combo or do a nice move that may be hard to use otherwise. This is essential in fighting games to analyze risk/reward and reaction ability to prove who is better.

Counter hits
Not relevant for games like LF2 or Super Smash Bros, but if you get a clean hit when your opponent is attack, it is called a counter hit. Some games notify it like Guilty Gear or Street Fighter. Usually, the attack does extra damage or even altered properties. Jin's Crouching+forward+Right Punch is an uppercut that simply hits the opponent, but do it while the opponent is attacking and you'll see them fly up for you to get a combo in! Priority and reactions are the main factors of countering an attack, especially when you see it coming.

Priority
This is self-explanatory, but I'll go over how it works. Priority over another attack usually lies in how the attack hitboxes placed compared to where the character can get hurt. A character that cannot get hit has the highest priority while a character that can get hit where it is hitting usually results in both hitting and being hit, known as a "trade"; there is no trading in Hero Fighter unless both players are guard broken. This is why characters with a weapon tend to have better priority as the weapon doesn't count as where they can get hit (disjointed). Dhalsim from Street Fighter is a perfect example of what is NOT priority: he can stretch himself, but you can still hit him during those moves.

Spacing
Some attacks require to be close or a mid-range to connect properly. Sometimes you can get extra hits just by being close, especially with a corner.  Super Smash Bros relies on spacing in a different way because some areas of an attack may have different properties--finding the optimal damage or knockback to get the KO is just as important as making sure you'll be safe after an attack. Most fighting games award characters being closer to get more hits in because of natural pushback affecting space; that pushback stops what could be combos as well.

This will be improved with more information and a few more points, but this covers most of what I know. You may agree or disagree with what I think or feel is right for design. I am not by any means a high-level player of competitive gaming; just someone smart that knows about it.


Last edited by Dragon5 on 21st September 2014, 7:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: My knowledge on fighting games (WIP)

Post by A-MAN on 21st September 2014, 4:17 am

Woh! You know quite a lot.
Perfect balance in a diverse game is never easy to obtain for one simple reason: some characters will have an advantage over another. You can tweak a character to fight better against that person, but you need to consider how he will fare against the rest of the cast; he could become overpowered!
Soo true. It's impossible to have every character even with every other, or that would mean that all your characters play the same; boring. A balanced, yet good, game is what minimizes these while keeping the variety of the different play styles of every character.
I couldn't agree more.

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Re: My knowledge on fighting games (WIP)

Post by Dragon5 on 23rd September 2014, 11:29 pm

There's much more than just moves that affect playstyle and how to use a character. Aspects like health, mobility, and even style options can create more dynamic differences between characters. In some cases, how much of a special gauge they can hold is important as well. Of course, the deeper you go the harder it is to balance.

Anything else you'd like me to cover or go deeper into? I can do some research into what I don't know.

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Re: My knowledge on fighting games (WIP)

Post by pack5642 on 13th January 2015, 9:14 am

Really love what you did here man, you explain stuff so freakin well. your thread reminds me of this youtube series called "Smash Theory" by the channel Rush Hour Smash although you cover way more than they have

as for the matchups part, smash bros allows counter picking stages and character. switching to a stage with, lets say a single fixed platform, might help a character escape combos or might even do the opposite and help them start combos if they have good aerial moves that have range.

i dont have any experience with any fighting games except for smash, and even in smash im meh but i guess you can move on to the mental side of fighting games like: conditioning and you mentioned "whiffing" when you talked about punishes but it would be great if whiffing/reads got their own section.

again kudos on the great thread and cant wait to see you expand it XD

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credits to Mark for this amazing sig XD
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